The Dead Man's Dream [Brooker / Reid]

Apartment One [USA]

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Trevor Tranova, keyboards, voice Rick Wager, guitar Billy Clarksville, voices

TT: I hope you enjoy my interpretation of this most challenging Procol Harum song. I tried to do it somewhat differently, without losing sight of the original. I don't think Procol Harum's version can ever be improved upon, but it is interesting to consider other approaches.

I approached the song in three sections. I recorded it all by myself and then asked Billy and Rick to add a bit. Rick played the guitar in the opening section. They both sang with me in the first section. I played everything except guitar. I let my vocals become backing vocals to Billy's lead narration in order to make the lyrics more clear. I took the drums out of the second section for dynamic effect. I made the final section a cappella for an extreme change of pace and had Billy and Rick sing with me on it for the beginning of it.

Then I sang the second half alone to emphasise the starkness of the scene. A rumbling synth sound in the background hinted at the tympani section that closed the original Procol Harum version. The song was the most difficult copy song I have ever attempted. Only by dividing it up for study and then recording it in sections and putting it together in the music software of the computer was I able to make a version that satisfied me. Then Rick and Billy helped me put it over the top. What an amazing song!

Whatever the listener may think, the important thing for me is that I had a lot of fun making it and I hope that shows in the recording. To do The Dead Man's Dream, I went back 'Home'  to where the memories were. It certainly gave me a thrill.

Trevor likes vintage equipment in his dining room home-studio. He uses an Arp 2600 synthesizer and a Korg Organ and a Yamaha DX-7 for keyboards. He sings into an AKG C-60 microphone. For effects, he uses a Lexicon PCM 70 reverb and a Korg DVP1 vocodor. He waves his hands over an Alesis Air Synth. Drums come from a Boss drum machine. The whole mess routes into a Roland mixer. He records into a Mackie Spike and Steinberg Cubase SE in his computer. He likes to keep things simple. Or maybe he is just simple-minded. He isnít sure.

Billy Clarksville uses a Kurzweil electric piano (though not on this track): thatís all he needs. Rick Wager plays bass. And he plays guitar. He loves his bass. 'Nuff said.  Any more information than that would just be boring. And if there is anything that Apartment One is not, it is boring. Over and out.

Maybe it is mature wisdom, maybe it is the dementia of the aging, maybe it is even just plain sour grapes, but for some people who have passed the milestone of their fiftieth birthday, the success and recognition that they have always sought no longer seems important. Suddenly it makes sense to erase the past and start over. And maybe that is why the three old gentlemen in the band Apartment One have nothing to say and donít care what you think.


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